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  • The Stranger Beside Me

  • The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy
  • Written by: Ann Rule
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 18 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (284 ratings)

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The Stranger Beside Me

Written by: Ann Rule
Narrated by: Lorelei King
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Publisher's Summary

Ann Rule was working on the biggest story of her career, tracking the trail of victims left by a brutal serial killer. Little did this future best-selling author know that the savage slayer she was hunting was the young man she counted among her closest friends.

Everyone's picture of a natural winner, Ted Bundy was a bright, charming, and handsome man with a promising future as an attorney. But on January 24, 1989 Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women - and had confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more women from coast to coast. Ann Rule, who kept in constant contact with Bundy throughout the investigation, tells his story as no other person can, capturing the essence of his magnetic power, unholy compulsion, and demonic double life.

Available for the first time on audio, this shocking true story is an unforgettable listening experience. In an emotional reading, Rule tells us about Ted Bundy - the man she thought she really knew...the stranger beside her.

©2008 Ann Rule (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What the critics say

"As dramatic and chilling as a bedroom window shattering at midnight." ( The New York Times)

Featured Article: 20 Best True Crime Audiobooks for Your Inner Detective

There is nothing more thrilling than the unfolding tale of a true crime story. Whether an unsolved mystery, a deep dive into a criminal mastermind, or a look at an infamous serial killer, true crime is gripping, captivating, and engrossing. The best true crime audiobooks will have you on the edge of your seat, anxious for more. Add to that an emphatic and powerful narrator, and you simply won't be able to stop listening. Here are the 20 best true crime audiobooks to satisfy your inner detective.

What listeners say about The Stranger Beside Me

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

There is an Audio problem in Chapter 54

In chapter 54 at the 17:37 time mark there is an odd audio skip. I've listened to the spot 4 times now thinking it was my device or me tapping something by mistake. But it is definitely the recording. Needs to be fixed

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well-researched, insightful

Ask anyone for a recommendation on a book about Ted Bundy, and this is the novel you'll be pointed to. It was fantastically researched and clear on the facts, without being boring. However, the mix of quotations and (obvious) use of direct source material demonstrates Rule's past as an author focused primarily on articles for magazines. But, I believe with a true crime novel such as this, that becomes necessary, and actually adds to the story, giving you the full picture. The writing wasn't fantastic, but it conveyed the story and facts wells. This edition included several updates from the original 1980 publication, that were vital to understanding the entire picture of Ted Bundy's trial, confessions and execution. I am very grateful for the addition.

However, I should note, I was a little exasperated with Ann Rule. While it is extremely interesting that she personally knew Ted Bundy before he was ever a murder suspect, and signed a book deal to write about the serial murderer who would end up being Ted, I believe she inflated both her self-importance, and Ted's.

My last listen before this was very well-narrated, and the shock of switching to this audiobook was disheartening. The narrator sounds robotic and choppy- very similar to the voice on your GPS. Luckily, the story pulled me in, and I was able to adjust to this style so I did not miss out on The Stranger Beside Me. However, several minutes in, I was ready to turn this off and not look back, often laughing at how detached the narration was. If you told me the entire this was typed into a "text-to-speech" app, I would absolutely have believed you. However, the narration was clear and crisp, and you do get used to it.

Critiquing each part individually, the narration was poor and the writing was not the best, by any means; but reflecting back, I very much enjoyed this listen and was impressed as a whole.

I think the part of this novel that most solidified how impressed I was by it, was when I found I had giggled to myself at one of the direct quotations from a letter from Ted. For the novel to express him as the whole man, including all of his horrendous deeds and the lives he has ended and ruined, and still for me to momentarily understand his allure and instantly be chilled by it was the perfect effect that summed up The Stranger Beside Me.

As a side note: I'm sure at this point, almost the entire world has watched the Ted Bundy documentary on Netflix. I went back after listening to The Stranger Beside Me, and found that it barely scratched the surface of what was included in this novel, and was considerably less intriguing (although it was interesting to see the visuals that went along with Rule's descriptions).

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A good listen

This book was better than I expected. It was thorough and unbiased. The narrator was awesome! I couldn't stop listening.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LOVED IT!

WOW. I absolutely loved this one. When I am reading true crime, I want all the details. I am not interested in one sided details just to prove a point. This novel really gave you everything. I found myself very invested in this one and couldn't put it down.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrifying but riveting read

I wasn't sold on this despite the critical acclaim. A lot of time has passed and I worried this was another case of someone fawning over Ted. But Rule writes this in a manner we can all relate to. We have all made the mistake of befriending the wrong person, someone who is toxic. But luckily for (most) of us that person didn't turn out to be a serial killer. Rule does a great job of showing how difficult it was for her to navigate her friendship while her suspicions grew. It's well researched with a lot of input from victims and doesn't make everything all about Ted. it's very human. I am so glad she did an update, but I was sad to read about the circumstances surrounding her death.

Def worth a listen

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

So boring.

I couldn’t wait to finish this book, now I can delete it and I’ll never have to hear this again. The story is fine, however it’s the slowest, most boring book I’ve listened to. Sounds like a more monotone version of Siri is reading it.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

True story horror…

Almost unbelievable that life should throw the author into such bizarre circumstance: her life altered forever, as so many of Bundy’s victims were. I found it a difficult, long listen, but I guess that’s to be expected considering the monster at the center of it. Pure Evil. My heart goes out to all the innocents…

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WOW

I just couldn't stop listening! I throughly enjoyed this point of view! I heard about this book on The Morbid podcast and just had to listen to it. And I am so happy I did!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jen
  • 2023-01-31

Wonderful book

Couldn’t put it down for more than a few hours. Very insightful work by Ann Rule

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring. The narrator sounds like Carole Baskin

If Carole Baskin and Siri had a baby, that would be the narrator.
The inside story of Ted Bundy should be anything but boring.... except it isn't. It was boring from the beginning. There were too many little bits and pieces of the authors personal life that I didn't care to know, and that lent nothing to the actual story of what I had signed up to listen to.

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